MU tests mass notification system

Thursday, April 22, 2010 | 4:37 p.m. CDT; updated 7:04 p.m. CDT, Thursday, April 22, 2010

COLUMBIA — A test of MU's mass notification system went according to plan Thursday afternoon.

"It did exactly as it was designed," said Terry Robb, spokesman for the MU Division of Information Technology.

MU students, faculty and staff who signed up for the mass notification system received the texts. Robb said people should have received three separate messages.

He sent the first text at 2:50 p.m. but thought there was an error and stopped it. The system worked quickly, so most users received the text. He said the system is guaranteed to send 40,000 text messages within an hour, but the first text seemed to have gone through within a few minutes.

He sent the second round of texts, which went through twice, at 2:53 p.m.

Text users were asked to respond "YES" to the text to confirm they got the notification. Texts should stop after a user sends a confirmation, but Robb said most had little chance to respond to the first message because of how fast the texts came.

As of 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Robb had received 12,103 confirmations and 527 late confirmations out of the 22,810 users receiving notifications.

This was the second test of the mass notification system. The first was in November 2008, Robb said.

He said IT will start testing the system every semester, so the next test will take place in the summer or fall.

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